Prayer Skills; Elul: Tzidkat HaTzaddik: In God’s Presence
The 9th of Elul is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Tzadok HaKohen Rabinowitz of Lublin: Man’s contest with his evil inclination lies mainly in his struggle with his fantasies and the thoughts of his heart and mind. Regarding this, the Tikkunei Zohar says: “One who is victorious in battle is given the Kings daughter,” meaning prayer (conclusion of Tikkun 13 and beginning of Tikkun 21). For prayer is the recognition of the Presence of God, as if one were standing before the King, as the Talmud (Eiruvin 64a) states. It is the heart and mind of man that stand before Him, for God looks into the heart (I Samuel 16:7). If, heaven forbid, you are overtaken by alien thoughts or extraneous mental images, you are not, in that instant, standing before God. Therefore, one who conquers his evil inclination and prevents it from emerging as imagination and extraneous thought is awarded the Kings daughter, namely, God’s Presence at the time of prayer.
This is what is meant by the requirement of “connecting redemption to prayer (Berachot 4b),” for redemption from Egypt implies liberation from the realm of the imagination.
The rabbis said: Who may be considered a son of the World to Come? One who connects read them Shin to prayer. The Talmud further states that one who recites Tehillah le-David 3 times daily is assured that he will be a son of the World to Come. In this Psalm 1 praises God for providing sustenance to all living, in alphabetical order, which is the water of all creation, since everything is arranged by God. This is called the category of faith; such a one is included in the Congregation of Israel, thus granting him assurance that he will be a son of the World to Come.
However, one who is liberated from imagination achieves the level of Truth. In connecting redemption to prayer, he merits the recognition of the Presence by means of prayer, unifying truth and faith and unifying the Holy One and and His Shechina.
Such a person becomes a son of the World to Come now, and with complete awareness, not merely as a matter of confidence.
For faith is defined as confidence: faith in the Eternal One, meaning confidence that God is indeed Eternal. But truth denotes that which is immediately obvious, thus eliminating the need for confidence. One who is privileged to achieve this state is a son of the World to World to Come in fact, palpably and manifestly, so that the term “is assured” is no longer relevant. (Tzidkat haTzaddik 208)